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As you might have heard, Discovery's hit show Mythbusters had a bit of a mishap this week when a 30-pound cannonball they fired went off target...and flew nearly 1,000 yards into a residential neighborhood. And through a house. Then across a six-lane road, off the roof of a second home, and into a parked minivan. I'm tempted to say, "Nothing but net" here, but I don't want to age myself.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the show's two hosts, effects gurus Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, spent yesterday visiting the perforated home of the Shetty family, and apologizing for their wayward artillery. The cannonball smashed through the family's home and exited through their upstairs master bedroom. Although Seema Shetty and her two-year-old son were napping nearby at the time, thankfully no one was hurt.
In addition to apologizing, Hyneman and Savage promised the family that they would not use footage of the accident on the show. Savage told the Chronicle:
It's a wake-up call ... Honestly, the feeling of embarrassment is not something we're indulging in right now. We feel for the families and the people affected by this.
The Chronicle's story also provides a few more details about how the incident came about. Apparently co-hosts Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara were at the Alameda County bomb ordnance range, a location fans of Mythbusters will know well. They were testing a myth about whether or not a stone cannonball could punch through the walls of a castle. The test at the Alameda range was a precursor to a larger-scale test that would have been done at a more remote location. At this stage, the cannon was supposed to be firing into water barrels and a brick wall on the range. While "calibrating" the homemade cannon, it fired too high and the cannonball sailed beyond the boundaries of the bomb range. As is typical for the show's tests on the range, members of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department were on hand, and shut things down immediately once the accident occurred.
Homeowner Hitha Shetty was understandably upset about the incident. He said:
The kids are usually playing there. I want to make sure this doesn't happen again. And, of course, they need to pay for this. Not just the physical damage, but everything else.
That sounds like a lawsuit's brewing, and much as I love the show, I can't say I blame the guy. I'd be more than a little miffed if somebody fired a cannonball through my house, much less past my sleeping wife and child.
Discovery has placed Mythbusters on hold until a full investigation of the incident can be completed.